Rotary Club of Adyar - Rotary India

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From a humble seed to a Banyan Tree:


Then in 1984, as now, the need was to increase the membership in Rotary. It was with this objective that the Rotary Club of Madras South (RCMS)under the Presidency of Rtn Gopalswamy & at the instance of the then Dist Governor Dist.323 (now3230) Rtn Purushothaman, had at its club assembly held on 14 Dec 1984 resolved to sponsor an extension for a new club. RCMS had already sponsored the Rotary Club of Meenambakkam. There were already eleven Rotary clubs in the city of Madras and so was a hesitation.


The new club was to be called the “Rotary Club of Thiruvanmiyur”. Rtn R Desikan a member of the Rotary Club of Madras South was appointed Governor’s Special Representative (GSR) to take up the responsibility of getting new members & do all that was necessary to get the new club started. The DG issued the extension letter, which was received by the RCMS on Jan 01, 1985.


Rtn Desikan lost no time in talking to prospective members & on 27 Jan 1985- fifteen prospective members assembled for the purpose of forming a new club. Geographical areas had to be earmarked for the new club from the areas of the RCMS. All areas south of the Adyar River on the east coast up to the limits of Madras Metropolis were ceded by RCMS to the new club. (The then rule was that the club could take in members, who either resided or worked in the area of demarcation). During the preliminary meetings of the prospective members, it was decided to adopt the name ‘Rotary Club of Adyar’(instead of Thiruvanmiyur). The new club was inaugurated with 22 members on Saturday,19 February 1985 at 6.30 pm at Hotel Connemara Madras. The meeting was presided by President Rtn Gopalswamy, of RCMS & the chief guest was DG Rtn.Purushothaman. The charter president was Rtn R Desikan. The charter secretary was Rtn Ramana Prasad, Treasurer- Rtn Murli Chabbria & directors - Rtns. Lalith Sarin & Swaminathan Mani. The function was a memorable one with 75 persons attending and included the spouses. The charter from Rotary International was received dated 15 May 1985.


The bulletin of the club was named “Banyan Tree” (after the famous banyan tree at the theosophical Society at Adyar) & was first released in February 1985. It was a weekly bulletin with Rtn Venkatachalam as chairman of the bulletin committee & Rtn Vijay Kumar as editor. The RCA flag was released on 11 June 1985.


The members resolved to have the weekly meetings on Tuesdays (same as the RCMS) and at 7:00 pm. The meetings were initially held in simple surroundings at Vidya Mandir. Then, up to the end of April 1985 at the Andhra Mahila Sabha Hall at Adyar. From 5 May 1985, the meetings were shifted to Hotel Adyar Gate (now Park Sheraton & Towers). The venue of the meetings was later shifted to Hotel Savera. The members decided that ‘fellowship’ should be the unifying force for all activities. The fellowships were at members’ residences & often ‘potluck’. The fellowships were a great success & brought the family members close together.


The “Inner wheel club of Adyar” was started by the spouses of the Rotarians in 1986 with Ann Malathi Anantan as the charter president.


The club has since grown. Having adopted the CLP in 2008-09. The CLP now governs the Core objectives of the club.


The following pages try to capture the activities from the beginnings to the Silver Jubilee year of 2009-10.



First Issue of Club Bulletin & Flag











































List of Charter Members

1.D.P.Ananthan (Vice President)

2.Rajesh. S. Bakshi

3.R. Balakrishnan

4.Murali Chhabria (Treasurer)

5.Vasanth Kumar Cycil (Sergeant-at-Arms

6.R.Desikan (President)

7.Jayakaran Dharam


9.M. Jamal (Asst. Secretary)



12.Swaminathan Mani (Director Club Service )


14.K.Neelakantan (Director Community Services)

15.Sunil Prabhakar

16.A.S. Ramana Prasad (Secretary)

17.Rao Ramakrishna Sivaram (Director Youth service)

18.B.Selvarajan (Director International Service)

19.S. Venkatachalam.

20.N.S. Venkatakrishnan

21.N. Vijay Kumar

22.R. Venkataraman (Director Vocational Service)




List of Charter day members:

1.Ram Mohan.

2.Dr. K.A.Balasubramanian

3.M. Sukumar.

4.R. Devanathan.


6.Devendra. N. Parmar

7.N.Ramesh Sankaran.


9.T.S. Jaishankar.

10.Suresh Madhok.




Presidents & Secretaries of Rotary Club of Adyar from 1985-86 to 2009-10







Desikan R

Ramana Prasad A S

You are the Key


Ananthan D

Jamal M

Rotary Brings Hope



Venkatakrishnan N S

Rotarians–United in Service- Dedicated to Peace


Nagarajan K

Sunil Prabhakar

Put Life into Rotary – Your life


Rameshsankaran N

Selvarajan B

Enjoy Rotary


Balasubramanian K A

Gopal K

Honor Rotary with Faith and Enthusiasm


Rajasekharan R

Suresh M

Look Beyond Yourself


Selvarajan B

Ramesh R

Real Happiness is Helping Others


Ravindran K

Jayakaran Dharam

Believe in what you do – Do what you believe in


Balakrishnan R

Sushil Joseph

Be a Friend


Gupta C A


Act with integrity, serve with love, work for Peace


Suresh M

Mohan Bharatan

Build the future with Action and Vision


Jaishankar T S

Thiagarajan R

Show Rotary cares for your community, for our world, for its people


Murli Chabria

Suresh R

Follow your Rotary Dream


Gopal K

Krishnaswamy B

Rotary 2000 – Act with Consistency, Credibility, Continuity


Sushil Joseph

Aruna Subramaniam

Create Awareness Take Action


Bakshi R.S.

Veerramani S.V

Mankind is our Business


Narasimha Iyengar K

Vittal Rajan R

Sow the Seeds Of Love




Lend A Hand




Celebrate Rotary


S V Veerramani

Dr.K Viswakumar

Service above self


Aruna Subramaniam

Jayaram Krishnan

Lead the way


R.Vittal Rajan


Rotary shares


Dr.K Viswakumar


Make dreams real




The future of Rotary is in your hands


The years following the charter were a period of growth & consolidation. In order to capture the events & mile stones it was thought best to write the highlights in the “Four avenues of service” & other activities which the members were involved in. The presidents undertook projects beneficial to the community. In most cases more than one president was instrumental in completion of the project which was started by his predecessors or carried forward by the next president.


Community service:

  • Punarjeevan (started in 1985-86)-Drug de addiction program. At least 300 persons were benefited by it. The program was given up in 2002-03 as the specialist doctor Dr Suresh Kumar left the country.
  • YMCA Boys town Perangudi: The YMCA boys town was ‘adopted’ by the RCA for various service projects from 1994 onwards. The inmates were given various donations –cycles, clothes, books, footwear. The Rotarians shared meals on their anniversary, celebrated Divali, Independence Day etc. While the program was very satisfying it was decided to withdraw from the program (from 2004-05) when it was found that they had become recipients of large funds from other sources.
  • Nevedita Centre:(start 2001-02) A centre which took care of ‘street abused children’ at Injambakkam, Adyar. The RCA provided funds for the children’s care & also celebrated festivals –like Diwali, new year etc. with the inmates. The children were also taught to dance. The program ended in 2004-05 when the centre closed down.
  • Adult literacy program (in 2002-03) A program for the adult illiterate street vendors –done at St. Josephs Matriculation school.
  • The Kandigai school (project started in 2004-05) needs special mention. This project was undertaken under the “schools to smile program”. The school was working in thatched sheds, without toilets, compound wall, fans & surrounding by unhygienic conditions. The total cost when completed was approximately Rs.10 lakhs spread over three years. All the class rooms were rebuilt of concrete. A solid compound wall was built. Fans, toilets, drinking water with bore well, desks & chairs, library books, computers & heat proof ceiling was provided. The kitchen was rebuilt with ceramic tiles. The teachers were giving training in computers & in English. Independence Day is celebrated by the Rotarians in the school every year.
  • Operation warmth (started in 2005-06)-A project undertaken in winter to provide blankets for the poor sleeping on the streets without any protection against the cold at night.
  • Fourrts Rotary medical centre (started in 2005-06)-A full-fledged medical centre at Thoraipakkam to provide medical aid on a daily basis by doctors to the needy free of costs. The cost of the medicines is provided by M/s Fourrts India lab P Ltd. The RCA meets the Doctor’s expenses. Nearly 1500 patients are treated every month.
  • Tsunami victims (undertaken in 2005-06): Donated clothes, medical supplies, Stoves, food packets, Boats to the victims. Rotarians also spent time distributing relief in the first days of the tsunami.
  • Puthiyur Parisu (started in 2007-08)- At the Govt Kasturba Gandhi Hospital, Triplicane, new born children are given a kit consisting of clothes, towels, Horlicks, biscuits etc (as suggested by the doctors of the hospital) This is to take care of the nutrition of the infant in the first few crucial days. The donation is done by the Rotarians by personally handing over the kits to the children (to commemorate an anniversary).
  • Donation of rice to the home for the aged donated by the Rotarians to coincide with an anniversary in the family.
  • Screening of the film “Sivaji’ for the orphans of the “Sivananda Ashram”
  • 2008-09: Water purification plant donated to St. Ebba’s school –Chennai
  • 2008-09: Construction of Toilet block at Amrithi forest near Vellore.
  • Donation to the “challenged” persons: RCA has regularly donated articles to the challenged – the articles include- tricycle to polio effected person, chairs to spastic society, white sticks to the blind, hearing aids to the hearing impaired, sewing machines to a school for the challenged etc.
  • Puzal Jail:(2007-08) RCA donated TV sets & planted trees at the Puzal jail. This jail is for lady convicts. Sweets were also distributed.


‘Silver Jubilee Project 25x25’ (2009-10): To celebrate the silver jubilee year 25 community projects with 25 beneficiaries in each project & donated by 25 Rotarians was undertaken to be completed in the year. Some of the projects done area:25 sets of books to hearing impaired children,25 sarees to the destitute, 25 dictionaries to a school, 25 sleeping mats to an orphanage,25 sets of books to a corporation school, 25 T-shirts to an school for the downtrodden,25 umbrellas & footwear to a school for the hearing impared,25 inskirts to the girls to a visually challenged children school,25 school bags with tiffen box, dictionary & geometry box to a school for the under prevelaged,25 kg of dal to an orphanage,25 kg of rice to an orphanage,25 stainless steel plates to an orphanage & also one more set of 25 to a home for the aged. And the list goes on...


Medical projects:

  • The Fourrts Rotary medical centre started in 2005-06 is rendering very useful service to the poor. The details are given above.
  • Medical Camps:
  • Ongoing projects -Medical checkup at Corporation school, Bhaktavatsalam nagar, Adyar. The children are given general checkups, dental, eye, ENT etc,
  • Osteoporosis check for the old at Gudiyattam as a joint project.
  • Diabetes check camp at Thiruvannamalai as a joint project.
  • A general health checkup for the poor at a village in Kumbakonam as a joint project with Rotary club of Kumbakkonam.
  • Donation to Children’s ward of Adyar Cancer institute: Cots to the ICU worth Rs1.25 lakhs.
  • Donation of Color TV to the children’s ward of Cancer institute -Adyar
  • In 2004-05: The Annettes of the RCA got the cancer ward at the children’s hospital-Egmore painted walls with Walt Disney animals’ pictures. They sang songs for the children undergoing treatment to cheer them up.
  • Screening for TB in the village of Kandigai.


Polio Plus:

RCA has actively participated in all the NID programs. They have manned 2 To 4 major booths. The Rotractors were also made to be involved. In 2007-08 the members along with the Rotractors also went around the residences to dispense the drops.


Vocational service:

This service is through programs for training & special workshops.

  • Ongoing vocational training program at AM Jain ITI:

Automobile Electrician, house Plumbing, Electrician course, AC mechanic course with all those trained getting employment.

  • LMV Driver training at the Institution of road transport
  • “Art of self-management project for schools”-a program for school heads to manage their schools effectively (2005-06)
  • Program for “Empowerment of women councilors: for lady councilors of Chennai (in 2005-06)
  • A program on VAT when it was to be introduced by the T.Nadu government.


Youth service:

RCA has under its preview the following Rotaract & Interact:

  • Rotaract Clubs:

Patrician College, MNM Jain Engineering College.

  • Interact Clubs:

Sishya, Devi Academy, St Michaels, ALM Matriculation School


Programs for the Youth:

  • Career guidance programs are held for the interact children.
  • AIDS awareness program.
  • Career related programs are held for the Rotractors.
  • Young achievers award –For excellence in a specific area of sports, fashion, studies etc. were given
  • ‘Dr K A Balasubramaniam award” to toppers in two specific schools (in memory of Doc.Bala - an excellent Rotarian of our club).
  • Music & dance competitions for school children were held.
  • ‘Drug addiction & its ill effects’ a talk at MNM Jain Engg college.


Care for Environment:

  • ‘Walk for environment awareness’. Done in 1999-2000.The Interactors with placards on how “to save the environment” were carried in a 3 km walk. More than 100 children participated apart from the Rotarians. The children put up an exhibition of the related projects at Besant nagar community hall.


  • ‘Aavin park regeneration’ project at Adyar. The park which was is dilapidated condition was restored. A tiled path for walking, benches were provided for sitting, trees were planted & children’s play equipment were provided.


  • In a number of years tree saplings were planted in Kandigai school,and Sishya & along the streets of Adyar. Trees were also planted at the Puzal jail.


  • Water harvesting (started in 2002-03) was encouraged at the residences & work places of all the Rotarians. By 2004-05 all Rotarians had done water harvesting.


Fund raising:

The fund-raising programs have always been for community service projects. The following is a list of programs done in the last few years:

  • 1987-88-For Punarjeevan Fund: A souvenir
  • 1988-89: Film show
  • 1989-90-Computer exhibition
  • 1990-91-Gangai Amaran show
  • 1997-98-Film show
  • 2002-03: A program on VAT information & ‘Union budget’- A joint program with Hindustan chamber of commerce.
  • 2004-05: ‘Srishti” fair at the Ethiraj College; “Key to efficiency & effectiveness” a self-development program by Sri Sudarshan.
  • 2005-06: A music program by Maestro Anoop Jalota. A self-development program- ‘Key to performance & Productivity’ by Sri. Sudarshan.
  • 2006-07: ‘Time management” program by Sri Sudarshan
  • 2007-08: A program on “Joy of Parenting” by Sri Sudarshan
  • 2008-09: A management development program “Profitability through innovation & creativity” by PDG Rekha Shetty
  • 2009-10: A play by SVee Shekar


Awards presented:

For the sake of honor: The following are some of the recipients:

  • Ms Jayanthi Natarajan-Then Hon Minister of Civil Aviation.
  • Mr Krishnaswamy- of Krishnaswamy associates
  • Dr Athreya: DG of DRDO & Scientific advisor to the Govt. of India.
  • Dr Balaguruswamy- Vice chancellor –Madras University
  • Padmashree Rakesh Bakshi- of Vestas RRB India
  • Dr Murli –Dean VHS Adyar
  • Dr Balakumaran- Well known Tamil writer.
  • Mr.T.S.Krishnaswamy-Chief election Commissioner
  • Ms.Farida Kanum-a muslim lady social worker, & undertaking to build the first mosque for women


Vocational Service awards:

The focus has been to recognize the work ordinary service providers also, in addition to dignitaries:

Awards for street workers:

Best–Policeman, Postman, Teacher, Metrowater worker, MTC –Best driver, Conductor, Auto driver.

Best Teacher award

1999-200-As part of the teacher’s day a “Best Teacher award” was given. A committee was instituted with the director of IIT Madras as chairman. The schools in & around Adyar were asked to participate. It was an activity that was well appreciated.


Vocational excellence awards:

Artists & Industrialists were recognized for their contributions to their vocations. A few awardees are mentioned here:

*Ms Aruna Sriram- musician

*Mr Ramasubramani-CEO Maples

*Rtn.Dr.Sadasivan-ENT specialist

*Dr.Suresh Kumar-Psychologist

*‘Bombay’ Jayshree-musician

*Dr Vijay Viswanathan of Diabetes centre

*Dr Chokalingam-Cardiologist

*Rtn.S V Veerramani-Industrialist


International Service:

  • In 2005-06: Rtn Jaishanker was the district 3230 GSE team leader –leading the GSE team to USA.
  • Semester at sea program-eight of our Annettes have been on the program.
  • One member is an “Alumini member”
  • Our Rotarians hosted GSE team & Semester at Sea program members from overseas.
  • 2008-09: An Indo German cultural evening with the Germans.



Major Donors: Rtn SV Veeramani,

PHFs: The club has had more than 50 PHFs over the years. As of 2009-10 we have 20 PHFs as members.

EREY awards were received for a number of years since it was instituted.

The RCA has met the foundation contribution targets every year.



  • The club has had a healthy financial position every year. Every year the accounts are audited & presented at the AGM.
  • RCA is one of the first clubs to have made the CLP. The RCA finalized & published the CLP in the 2008-09. It was effectively implemented from the year 2009-10.

Some of the high lights of the CLP need mentioning under the heading ‘core objectives’ of RCA:

*To get the members & their families actively involved in club activities.

*To undertake projects in areas of: health, hunger; literacy & water.

*Undertake fund raising activities to meet the commitments towards community projects.

*Net Membership growth of 10% year on year.

*Ensure transparency in all club activities & maintain proper audited accounts.

  • The bye laws are regularly updated & printed. The last time this was updated was in 2008-09.
  • The club has included in its byelaws the concept of the “nominating committee” to help in locating talent for the continuity of good leadership for the club. This is unique concept at the club level. The idea was initiated by (Late) Doc Bala & adopted by the club in 2002-03.
  • To encourage improving attendance, gifts & hampers are given to 100%ers. Fire side meetings are held for the newcomers.



Our club members have published the following books on Rotary & are valued by all the Rotarians:

* ‘Rotary movement A Profile’- By PP.PHF. Dr.K A Balasubramaniam.

* ‘Basic guide to Rotary youth service’ By PP.PHF. R Rajashekaran


Public relations:

National newspapers, magazines & some TV channels have carried reports about the community service programs, semester at sea, GSE teams to the district (where RCA also participated) over the years. The local papers have carried our installation & other service programs.


Weekly Programs:

It is a matter of pride that RCA has not missed meetings since inception. The meetings were well attended & speaker meetings addressed by eminent persons. Joint meetings with other clubs both locally & with outstation clubs were held periodically.


Banyan Tree: The first bulletin was brought out in February 1985 as a weekly edition. The first editor was Rtn Vijaykumar. However, it was converted to a monthly edition from 1988-89. Since then, except for a brief period, the ‘Banyan tree’ is being published regularly every month. The bulletin has been informative & well received by the members & the district.



Punarjeevan Trust –started in 1985-86. A fund-raising program was done in 1987-88.

RC Adyar Charitable trust: Started in 2004-05. This trust has obtained 80-G exemption. All fund-raising income is taken into this account & spent for the charitable causes only.

All the RCA trust accounts are well maintained & audited every year.


Matching Grants:

RCA has received the following matching grants:

-Library for the old age home at Uthandi with RC Conifer, Colarado (dist5450)

-Computers for the physically challenged children at the Ability foundation –Adyar, With RC Milano (Dist-2040)

-Desks, Tables, play equipment, books for the library, toilet facility & bore well to provide water to the Kandigai school- “a schools to smile” school adopted by our Club

-In 2002-03 Computers & hospital cots were received from RC Rosenholm, Denmark (Dist 1440). The computers were donated to Shankara School & the cots to Shankara health centre.


Awards received:

The club members have been recipients of a number of awards from the district every year.

The following are some the awards received a number of times from our district:

  • Outstanding Rotarian;
  • Most valuable Rotarian,
  • Best Secretary
  • Significant contribution in a number of avenues of services
  • “Presidential Citation”
  • Outstanding President
  • Special projects
  • Schools to smile
  • EREY to the foundation
  • Outstanding Leadership
  • Outstanding contribution to “Four avenues of Service”



  • The club started with 22 members on the charter day. The club has its highs & lows. The membership went up to a high of 45 & then fell to33 before coming up to 52 in 2009-10.
  • We are happy the following charter members continue to be members:

Rtns:R Desikan, Murli Chhaabria, Rajesh Bakshi,S. Krishnan, N.S. Venkat Krishnan.

Rtn T.S Jaishankar, a charter day member, continues to be an important member today.



RCA has valued its fellowships. There is always warmth and family members participate with enthusiasm. The fellowships average 8 per year. It is hosted by a group of members. The hosts treat them as their personal function & do their best to make the fellowship enjoyable for everyone. Joint fellowships were also held with other clubs.

Outstation fellowships are very popular among members & families. Destinations include Yercaud, Yelagiri, Coonoor, Waynad, Munnar, Andamans, Darjeeling & Gantok. The members cherish their trips.



  • The RCA started a new club “The Rotary Club of Royapettah” in 2001-02. It is satisfying to see that this new club is doing well.
  • RCC was started in 2004-05 in Kandigai & inaugurated on 18 Jan2005


Inner wheel club of Adyar:

RCA is proud to have such an effective & vibrant Inner wheel club. IWC Adyar have had four Chairman at the district level. IWC Adyar members actively participated in our community projects & health camps.


Sister clubs:

RCA has sister club arrangements with the following clubs:

RC Thiruvannamalai;

Rc Gudiattam

RC Colombo south


Special mention: is to be made of the following Rotarians for their valuable contributions to the club.

**Rtn Desikan: Charter President: Who laid down the policies & guidelines. A source of inspiration even to this day. His vast experience in various NGOs has helped us. A practical philanthropist & a strong disciplinarian.

** (Late)Dr K.A. Balasubramaniam (fondly known as Doc Bala): Doc Bala carried the club like a father for more than 20 years. He was a friend to all Rotarians. He has been a committed Rotarian. He published a book ‘A profile of Rotary ‘This is good guide in all Rotary matters at the club & District level. He has made notable contributions to the quality of the club.


**Rtn Dr Shyam Sunder: The first Dist Governor from RCA. He was DG in the year 2005-06. Very ‘lovable & people’s governor’. A dedicated Rotarian with selfless service rendered to the community in all the avenues of service. As a Dist. Governor he set many records especially in areas of health & community service, foundation & membership.



We would like to pay tributes to the following PPs (who are no longer alive). They steered the club in keeping with the high traditions & giving their every bit to improve the quality of the club.

  • Ananthan D. (1986-87): A man with a vision for the RCA. Drew up plans for the long term. Meticulous in his work. Laid down the basic working policies for the club. Some of the initial meetings were held in his residence.
  • Swaminathan Mani (1987-88): A president who was dear to every Ann, annet & Rotarian. A jovial person he would relate to you easily, make you feel warm & at home. He was taken away from us at a very early age. We still can’t believe he is not among us.
  • Dr. K A Balasubramaniam (1990-91)-He was a father figure for all Rotarians, an authority on “Rotary”. He authored the book “A profile of Rotary” a good guide for the new Rotarians. He brought about changes in the working of our RCA which improved the quality of the club. He was instrumental in bringing in the concept of the “Nominating Committee” for our club which is now part of our bylaws. His family has instituted an award for school toppers in his name.
  • Ravindran. K (1993-94): A very respectable IPS officer, who held very high posts in the Gov.of India & the state government. A strict disciplinarian, but warm & helpful. It was during his time a number of projects for the upliftment of the nomadic tribes were undertaken. The Rotarians loved to hear him speak especially of the various episodes in his career as IPS officer. He had worked with eminent dignitaries like MGR,Jawarharlal Nehru etc.
  • Petachi A R (2003-04): A happy go lucky person. It was during his tenure that for the first time, our club member Dr Shyam Sunder, was elected Governor of our District. Rtn Petachi passed away at an early age.


List of Rotarians as on 08 Dec, 2009

Aruna Subramaniam

Arvind Shah B

Bakshi. R.S

Balasubramaniam.S N

Baskar K.R


ChandraMohan Shankar






Issa Fathima Jasmine Dr

Jaishankar T S

Jayaram Krishnan

Jayaseelan J

Krishnan S

Krishnaswamy B

Latha Rajan

Major Raja.Dr

Mohan Barathan

Murli Chhabria

Muthu kumar L

Narasimha iyengar K

Narayanan R

Padmalatha Suresh

Prem Alex Lawrence Dr

Radhakrishnan S

Rajashekaran R

Rajendran R

Ramesh R

Ramesh Ramanujam

Rangarajan C

Ravi Shankar K

Sarangarajan S

Sengottuvel V P

Seshaiah M N (Secr)

Shyamsundar S Dr(PDG)

Siva S (treasurer)

Sivakumar S

Sridhar N

Srinaivasan H

Subash N P

Sundarrajan N

Suresh M

Suresh R

Thiagarajan R

Veerramani S V

Venkatakrishnan N S

Vidhyadharan K

Viswakumar K Dr

Vittal Rajan R


Kannan Arumugam


Veeraraghavan P